Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marine Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, of Chesapeake, Va.

LCpl Dunn was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Feb. 18, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

A Marine from Chesapeake was killed Thursday in Afghanistan, the Defense Department reported late Friday.

Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, died in combat in Helmand province, a statement said.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

According to an article in The Flagship, a military newspaper serving Hampton Roads, Dunn was homeless before graduating from high school, but with the help of Seton Youth Shelters, he was able to finish school and join the Marines.

“Before I became homeless, I had a plan to join the U.S. Marines after I finished my senior year,” Dunn said. “But after an unfortunate event, I was left with nowhere to go. I was moving place to place, and I still had one year of school left.”

Seton Youth Shelters is a program in Hampton Roads that takes in homeless children.

LCpl. Dunn was one of four Marines from Camp Lejeune who died Wednesday and Thursday, the Defense Department said. No further information was available.

The other Camp Lejeune Marines killed Thursday were identified as Pfc. Eric D. Currier, 21, of Londonderry, N.H., Pfc. Kyle J. Coutu, 20, of Providence, R.I., and Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson, 19, of Scranton, Pa.

Lance Cpl. Dunn was a rifleman assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He joined the Marine Corps in August 2008 and was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on May 1, 2009. He deployed to Afghanistan is support of Operation Enduring Freedom in December 2009. His awards include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO International Security Assistance Force Medal.

During the summer of 2008, the staff at Virginia Beach's Seton Youth Shelter got a call from a young man in need of help.

Something had gone wrong at home, Kielin T. Dunn told them, and he needed a place to stay. He wasn't a runaway, troublemaker or wayward teen, said David Mount, the shelter's director of street outreach programs. He had a plan: Graduate and join the Marine Corps. He just needed some help to get there.

So the shelter provided a bed, food and clothing. A few months later, in August 2008, Dunn graduated early from Chesapeake's Western Branch High School. The next day, he left for boot camp, Mount said.

But he kept in touch with the Seton Youth Shelter, visiting during holidays and calling in December to let his shelter family know he'd be deploying to Afghanistan.

Mount received another kind of call Friday night. Dunn, a 19-year-old lance corporal in the Marine Corps, had been killed Thursday during combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

"It was a blow," Mount said.

Dunn, originally from Chesapeake, had been a role model to the children and teens at the shelter, Mount said.

"He was an inspiration to the residents here," he said. "He inspired them and gave them hope that they could actually overcome their life challenges."

Mount described Dunn as intelligent, honest, driven and focused.

"He was a good person, and he was a straight arrow," he said. "That's a reflection of his family."

Mount said he could not disclose information about how Dunn became homeless but said he'd maintained a relationship with his family after enlisting. A phone call to his family's home was not returned Saturday.

With Your Help, We Could Help

By David Mount, Director of Street Outreach Programs, and Margaret Angulo, Director of Marketing, Seton Youth Shelters.

Sometimes, despite the odds, dreams of success really do come true. Kielin Dunn had goals for his life, but he found himself in a situation that made those dreams seem impossible.

“Before I became homeless, I had a plan to join the U. S. Marines after I finished my senior year,” Dunn said. “But after an unfortunate event, I was left with nowhere to go. I was moving place to place, and I still had one year of school left.”

But then, he found hope – and an organization that was willing and able to help put his plan back on track: “Seton Youth Shelters, for me, was a place of refuge from the streets,” Dunn said.

While living with a friend’s family, Dunn found out about Seton Youth Shelters. The staff worked with the Guidance Department at Western Branch High School, the Summer School Administration, Teachers and Staff at Landstown High School, City of Virginia Beach Public Schools’ Project Hope, and the U.S. Marine Corps Recruitment Staff.

“I attended summer school for free, and was able to graduate early with cap and gown and enter the Marine Corps,” Dunn stated. “None of this would have been possible without Seton Youth Shelters and their Street Outreach Programs.”

Dunn is grateful to those who assisted, and generously takes the time to visit the shelters when he is in the area, offering inspiration, empowerment and affirmation to the current residents, so that they can realize the human spirit can meet the challenges before them.

Seton Youth Shelters provides a safe haven, counseling and outreach services, 24 hours per day, without charge, to assist youth in crisis throughout Hampton Roads. Our goal is to reunite youth with their families whenever possible.

KIelin Dunn wrote on Oct 30, 2009 6:08 PM:

" Thats my story and im sticking to it Semper Fi "

AFGHANISTAN (WAVY) - A Marine from Chesapeake died Thursday during combat operations, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand province, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, was assigned to 1st Battallion, 6th marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejune, N.C.

"He truly was a remarkable person," said David Mount.

Friends say that's the only way you can describe Kielin Dunn. He lived for protecting his country and Thursday he died doing the same thing.

"Every person that serves in our armed forces is my hero," Mount added. "They're serving to preserve our personal freedoms that we have become accustomed to."

Dunn graduated from Western Branch High School in 2008. The very next day he was off to boot camp. A short time later, the Marine deployed to Afghanistan.

"His demeanor and his tone was confident and resolved," Mount said.

Dunn was one of five Marines killed in the last three days. He was part of the US offensive working to take out the Taliban. One thing that can't be described is the sense of loss.

"It has devastated us over the last 24 hours," Mount added.

David Mount was not only Kielin Dunn's friend but a mentor. He says Dunn came to the Seton Youth Shelter in Virginia Beach wanting help.

"He came to us with specific goals and specific needs," Mount said. "It was a privilege for me to know him and it was our honor to serve him."

Dunn reached his goal.

"He represented everyone well," Mount said.

But then it was Dunn who gave back. He mentored other teens at the shelter and gave them lessons on life.

"He would come back and his visits here served as an inspiration for young people," Mount added. "I'd prefer to celebrate his life and what he was able to accomplish in his short years he was with us."

"His ultimate sacrifice for the personal freedoms we have become accustomed to will forever be appreciated and remembered," Mount wrote in a statement. "He's a hero."

Marine Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn was killed in action on 2/18/10.

1 comment:

Don said...

May peace be unto his soul. Very sad and touching story.